UCLA QB Josh Rosen has spoken his mind again! Whenever that happens, someone latches onto a small part of what he said, then yells about it.
The most recent quote, from a Bleacher Report interview that's since been chopped into tiny bits for memes, tweets, and the radio:
Look, football and school don't go together. They just don't. Trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs. There are guys who have no business being in school, but they're here because this is the path to the NFL. There's no other way. Then there's the other side that says raise the SAT eligibility requirements. OK, raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have. You lose athletes and then the product on the field suffers.
That's a fair critique of the strange path to a football career, which is forcibly connected to academia just because that's the way it's always been. The Alabama part was perceived as a jab, and maybe he shouldn't have used a specific team's name, but take it literally: Alabama would be worse at football if it had significantly higher academic standards, just as any other team would.
It was also perceived by some as whining about the workload, but it's pretty clearly not, unless it's read in bad faith.
We don't have to agree with everything he's saying to acknowledge his opinions are valid. It's also not the first time he's voiced these concerns. From nearly a calendar year earlier, with CBS Sports:
I really want you to write this. I feel very strongly.
It's absolutely too much to be considered an amateur [sport]. I love coach [Jim] Mora to death, but if they want to call it an amateur sport, hire amateur coaches, don't have TV deals. Don't have 100,000 people in the stands and don't sell tickets.
People say, 'You're just being an ignorant rich kid.' I understand I come from affluence and a privileged family, but no one who is at risk is going to speak out.
I don't give a shit if I'm going to be taken care of with money that comes into college football. The whole idea [is] leaving a place better than you found it.
His long answers just don't work when broken up into single phrases, but he's also tried being terse. A few months earlier was this IG, which is still up, of himself golfing at one of then-candidate Trump's golf courses in a "Fuck Trump" hat.
He later told SI:
I don’t regret posting the photo at all, because personally I thought it was hilarious. I want people to know I’m a real person, that I don’t have someone running my Instagram, I don’t have someone prewriting all of my interviews and stuff. With Trump, I’m learning to evolve my message and understand how to convey the substance of it.
(Many of us are still working on the substance-processing part.)
That Trump one set off Mora, who told Rich Eisen shortly afterward:
I’ve asked him this: I’ve said, ‘Who do you want to be? Do you want to be Johnny Manziel, or do you want to be Tom Brady? And you need to make that decision right now, and you need to start working in the direction that you want to work in. So, if you’re going to go out on Donald Trump’s golf course and wear a hat that says ‘F Trump,’ I said, ‘You’re heading towards Johnny Manziel.’ So, let’s head toward Peyton Manning. Let’s head towards Tom Brady. Let’s head towards Troy Aikman.’
College student Manning was accused of sexual harassment, which led to multiple lawsuit settlements, but that's beside Mora's point, which is that hats shouldn't have cuss words, I think.
One time Rosen definitely should've worded things more carefully was when he implied Texas A&M's crowd wouldn't be much louder than a crowd of 50,000. What it seemed he'd meant to express was that the human ear can only take in so much noise, but Aggie fans gave him hell anyway.
Rosen will always be himself. Look no further than that time he, as a five-star freshman, changed the game by having a hot tub in his dorm room, until someone realized there needed to be a rule against that.
Oh, and he's really good at football.
More college football
- Bill C team of the day: Arkansas, which is basically a Big 12 team that thinks it's a Big Ten team.
- Disney's spinning off some sort of Netflix-like ESPN streaming service, which will allegedly include college sports games.
- There's a Pat Surtain Jr.! You are so old!
- Updated national title odds, and USC's No. 2. You already know who's No. 1.
- Dabo says he knew Ohio State was in trouble when he walked into the film room and watched Big Ten film.
- Commit of the day: four-star TE Malcolm Epps to Texas over A&M.
- PREVIOUS: Consider how amazingly bad the 2000s have been for Michigan fans.